Occupy London just became the latest pro-Palestine page to disappear from Facebook

Occupy London has just had its Facebook page taken down by the social media giant. This follows a period of “continual removal of posts related to Palestine”, a spokesperson told The Canary.

One of the administrators took to Twitter to announce the closure:

The web page has been around since 2011, with over 150,000 followers.

A post raising awareness of a “threatening letter” targeting a Muslim family is what appears to have triggered Facebook’s actions.

A spokesperson for the Occupy London page told The British Left:

It feels like censorship. For months, we faced removal of posts related to Palestine. Perhaps once every few weeks or so, a post would be taken down and admins for the page were frozen out of their personal accounts. Then, today, Facebook unpublished the entire page.

The page has long been a free space where all views are tolerated even if we do not agree with them ourselves. We play a role in continuing the work of the Occupy Movement, and promoting activism and journalism which challenges the economic and political order. We promote the values of equality, love, cooperation, and peace. It is chilling to have our platform removed unilaterally and with no transparency whatsoever. We want to see our page back up with immediate effect.

Facebook ‘unpublishes’ other left-leaning or Pro-Palestine sites

In March, the Safa Palestinian Press Agency‘s page, with 1.3 million followers, was shut down by Facebook. Safa also reported [Arabic] that around 100 other accounts of activists and journalists were also shut down.

The Intercept reported in 2016 that Facebook was “collaborating” with the Israeli government on censorship. And in 2017, the Intercept reported that Facebook was “Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments”.

On 13 August, meanwhile, left-leaning Latin American news organisation teleSUR also had its Facebook page shut down. And Facebook temporarily “unpublished” the Venezuelanalysis.com page a few days previously.

Both sites are known for their criticisms of US foreign policy. TeleSUR also publishes views that are critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people.

After public lobbying, both sites were re-instated.

Right-wing pages, meanwhile, remain largely untouched

It is not only left-leaning or pro-Palestine sites that have become targets for censorship. Yet it’s worth noting that sites which allow anti-Muslim hatred or anti-Palestinian sentiment remain largely untouched. The following apparently Islamophobic post on the British Politics page, for example, was reported to Facebook. But the company deemed that it didn’t violate its community guidelines:

The british Left will be following this story up, and will give more information as it arrives.

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